On November 5, 1996, Californians voiced their honest opinion. Californiansvoted yes on a very controversial proposition – proposition 215. This law allowsdoctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with diseases that have severesymptoms.
For example, cancer patients that undergo chemo-therapy and sufferfrom severe nausea and aching can benefit from smoking marijuana. Marijuanahelps these patients get through these very painful symptoms by numbing the bodyand soothing the stomach. It also improves the appetites of AIDS patients andincreases their weight and chance of survival. Marijuana also helps MS patientswith bladder control and tremors. The use of marijuana for medical purposes isnot a new issue. The Marijuana Tax Act made the cultivation or possession ofmarijuana illegal in 1937, but it only has been a heated issue since the 1960’s.Order now
In 1970, Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act, which placed all illicitdrugs into 5 categories. Marijuana was placed under the category of”Schedule 1,” because Congress decided that it has no medical use anda high potential for abuse of the “drug. ” But in 1970, Congress hardlynew the potential benefits of marijuana for medical purposes becausechemo-therapy wasn’t even an issue back then, just as NORML pointed out in theirpetition to change the scheduling in 1972. NORML (National Organization forReform of Marijuana Laws) insisted that Congress had made their decision withoutaccurate information about the plant.
In 1975, the IND began a program thatwould allow patients to receive marijuana from the government. This programlasted until 1992, when Congress discontinued it. Not more than a year ago, thesame request for the rescheduling of marijuana was presented to Congress and itwas once again, denied. In 1990, the Drug Advisory Board stated that”personal use and cultivation should be legalized. ” The Drug AdvisoryBoard wanted to legalize marijuana for all purposes, not just for medical usebecause it would benefit our economy by being a taxable good and it woulddecrease crime over obtaining the “drug.
” Opponents to thelegalization of marijuana are those who consider marijuana a “gateway”drug, which lead users to more harmful drugs. These assumptions have no realfacts supporting them because in 1995, a survey was taken by the National Surveyon Drug Abuse. The Survey found that 20% of illicit drug users smoke marijuanaand that 57% of illicit drug users smoke only marijuana. Proposition 215 wouldlegalize the cultivation, possession, and smoking of marijuana legal for personswith prescriptions for it. Even though the people of California voted yes ofproposition 215, the United States Supreme Court denied it because it wentagainst federal drug initiative prohibiting the possession and cultivation ofmarijuana.
This is ridiculous. Whose to say that the government can let a cancerpatient suffer when there is a medicine that can sooth his or her pain. Peoplewho are terminally ill do not deserve to be put in jail because they are onlytrying to feel better and relieve some of the nasty side effects of medicinesfor their sickness. BibliographyGooding, Robert. “Healthy Marijuana,” July 1996, http://trailerpark.com/phase1/hempman.html .